One year after garnering worldwide attention opening NBC’s Super Bowl LII, Carrie Underwood’s hit event anthem, “The Champion,” featuring Ludacris, has been certified Platinum by the RIAA. Underwood co-wrote “The Champion” with fellow songwriters Brett James, Chris DeStefano, and Christopher Bridges PKA Ludacris, who Underwood asked to collaborate on the event song produced by Jim Jonsin. NBC Sports also incorporated “The Champion” into its coverage of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Globally, “The Champion” reached No. 1 on the iTunes Top Songs chart in 10 countries including the U.S. where it held the top spot throughout its release week then rose back to the top of the chart for four consecutive days after the Super Bowl LII opening. The song also debuted Top 5 on the all-genre Top 200 Digital Songs chart and reached No. 7 on the Spotify US Viral 50 Chart with over 151 million streams to date. The poignant and powerful montage video, directed by Jimmy Lynch, won CMT’s 2018 Video Music Award for Female Video of the Year. Fans around the world continue to share their own champion-inspired photos and videos across social media using #TheChampion, a key driver to the song’s organic success.
Additionally, “The Champion” is featured as a bonus track on Underwood’s critically-acclaimed, Gold-certified sixth studio album, Cry Pretty. Released in September 2018, Underwood’s first studio album on Capitol Records Nashville, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Album Charts and was the biggest all-genre debut by a female in 2018.
Co-produced by Underwood and writer/producer David Garcia, that debut earned Underwood a place in music history as the only woman to land four country albums at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, as well as the first female country act to top the Billboard Artist 100 Chart. The album was the best-selling Country album debut of 2018, as well as the biggest Country album debut since 2015 and the biggest female Country album debut since 2012. Cry Pretty’s debut week also marked the most first week streams by any female in Country music. It is Underwood’s seventh consecutive album to debut at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, representing all of her first seven albums including her Greatest Hits: Decade #1. Underwood, who is nominated for Country Artist of the Year at the upcoming iHeartRadio Music Awards, was also Apple Music’s most-streamed Country female artist for 2018. Cry Pretty debuted as the fifth most-streamed Country album in genre history and had the highest solo female debut for all music in 2018. It recently hit #1 again on the Country Album Charts in January, 2019. The second single from the album, “Love Wins,” continues to climb the charts.